Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. Edward Abbey

14 December 2006

White Yangtze dolphin declared extinct

The Baiji was yesterday declared functionally extinct. The dolphin could not be found during a 6-week expedition of experts from 6 nations who searched the Yangtze River in vain.

We chose "economic progress" (sic) for China, over the survival of a 20-million-year-old aquatic mammal, whose language we have yet to understand. Now it's too late to even try.

Shipping traffic and the noise of engines messed with the dolphins' sonar and since these beautiful animals are virtually blind, they could no longer navigate their way along the river. We all know what economic progress is doing in terms of polluting the river to death as well, so these beautiful animals stood NO CHANCE. They have been gobbled up by the machine.

I want to see the end of civilisation as soon as possible, because this destruction of life cannot go on. We are destroying the earth who sustains us. Our children will not have a planet to sustain them. People who think iPods are the pinnacle of human evolution are in for a big surprise when this whole mess comes crashing down.

Read more about the late great Baiji, and listen to its mournful songs ...

11 December 2006


Reuters posted this image on the Planet Ark website.

28 November 2006

Water issues again

The three largest water corporations will control 70 percent of the water in Europe and North America by the end of the decade. And these same corporations, along with the ubiquitous world bank, are slowly seeping into the other continents too!

I heard that dams are changing earth's axis by redistributing water, not sure it this is true yet, will see what I can find. Sounds feasible when you start looking at the stats for the size of projects such as the Three Gorges Dam in China.

24 November 2006

Mountain top removal, under the ocean

The UN's attempt to ban ocean-bottom trawling has failed. Unlike mountain top removal above ground (see the satellite images on google earth), the undersea version is invisible to most of us as it takes place out on the high seas and in deep water. Out of sight out of mind as the saying goes!

But it's no less destructive and is playing a huge role in killing the oceans.

My message to you today, all the millions who read this blog, is stop eating fish unless you caught it yourself with a hook from the side of a dam, river or or from a rock along the coastline.

03 November 2006

90% of cluster bomb victims are civilians

Handicap International reports that 90% of registered cluster bomb victims are civilians.

There are 4 billion cluster bombs in stock around the world. The US and its accolytes have used some 13 million cluster bombs in Iraq.

Every year, countless children and adults are killed and maimed as a result of the ongoing use of cluster bombs. Join the petition to ban cluster bombs. Seymore ...

02 November 2006

Israel admits using phosphorus weapons

Israeli Cabinet Minister Jacob Edery has admitted that Israel used controversial phosphorus weapons in its attacks against targets during its month-long war in Lebanon this summer.

The chemical can be used in shells, missiles and grenades and causes horrific burning when it comes into contact with human flesh. White phosphorus (WP) weapons are not forbidden by international law, but some human rights groups believe they should be reclassified as chemical weapons and banned.

WP is used by armies for producing smoke screens and as an incendiary. The phosphorus ignites on contact with air and gives off a thick smoke. If the chemical touches skin, it will continue to burn until it reaches the bone unless deprived of oxygen.

and as always there are no winners in war ...

Hezbollah used cluster bombs

Hezbollah fired cluster bombs into civilian areas of northern Israel in the recent conflict, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday. The Lebanese Shia militia used two Chinese-made rockets for cluster strikes that hit the village of Mghar in Galilee on July 25, according to evidence gathered by the United States-based organisation.

Although Israel made extensive use of cluster weapons against Lebanon, this is the first independent confirmation that Hezbollah used the weapons.

and the biggest loser in the world is ... drumroll ... wilderness/nature

Species stranded outside protected areas

The most comprehensive map of endangered species and where they live has shown that 11% of birds, 24% of mammals and 33% of amphibians are at risk.

Threatened species are not clustered together, making it harder to target resources. So the current "silver bullet" approach to conservation -- which relies on protecting areas such as national parks which contain numerous threatened species -- is missing many endangered animals.

"In the past what we have essentially done is identify plots using one particular [group of organisms] and said, 'Right, this is where we should put our protected areas'," said Andrew Pullin, head of the Centre for Evidence Based Conservation at Birmingham University. "We may have put our protected areas in great places for mammals or birds but we may not have adequately covered areas that are hotspots for lesser-known groups." The original article is available to subscribers on Mail and Guardian.

31 October 2006

A Brief History of Cloning

When South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk announced the "creation" of Snuppy, the world's first cloned dog, in Nature magazine, he justified his actions by saying that dog clones "could be very valuable in finding technologies useful for curing human diseases".

What a load of crap! We'll swallow anything that promises to cure us of our (often self-inflicted) diseases. We pollute the world and then wonder why cancer rates are soaring!

Then some crackpot tells us that cloning dogs is relevant to our health and we believe him! Heaven help us. We humans are insane.

Anyway, Hwang subsequently started dabbling in human embryos and was later accused of procuring eggs unethically and earlier this year, he was charged with breaching bioethics laws.

Point is, the damage is done!

  • +/-100 AD Humans cultivate banana clones
  • 1963 The first cloned fish, a carp, is born in China.
  • 1986 Masha the cloned mouse is born in Russia.
  • Jul 1996 Dolly the sheep, the world's first mammal cloned from an adult cell is born. Dolly was born after 276 failed attempts ie dead lambs.
  • Dec 1997 WHO kamstig demands ban on cloning humans.
  • Jul 1998 First cloned calves in Japan. Can't even find their names on the web!
  • Dec 1998 Mice are cloned and the first clones of clones are "made".
  • Apr 1999 Yangyang the world's first cloned goat survives after several failed attempts.
  • Mar 2000 Five cloned piglets are born - Millie, Christa, Alexis, Carrel and Dotcom. This started a flurry of work on genetically modified pigs, eg they would be able to create pigs with lots of Omega 3 to feed fat lazy humans with heart problems.
  • Dec 2001 First cloned kitten - CC.
  • Feb 2003 Dolly dies of a common viral disease among sheep kept indoors!
  • May 2003 First cloned mule - Idaho gem is born. Prometea, the first cloned horse is born.
  • Nov 2003 US FDA says meat and milk from clones is safe, but does not yet announce policy to allow human consumption of these poor animals.
  • Apr 2005 Snuppy the cloned Afghan hound is born to a Labrador surrogate mother.
  • Oct 2006 As scientists continue to search for an easy way to mass clone animals, rumours abound that policy approval for the human consumption of meat and milk produced from cloned animals will come.
The naming of cloned animals says a lot about how humans perceive animals and nature ie with utmost disdain and disrespect. Snuppy stands for Seoul National University puppy. The first cloned monkey was named ANDi (inserted DNA spelled backwards). The first cloned cat was Copycat or CC, a name once again that has negative connotations.

The bird flu scare and other so-called threats posed by traditional farming will encourage the masses of the world - who can no longer think for themselves - to look to "better, safer" food supplies from the agricultural-industrial complex. And I can just see the idiot masses of the developed world queueing for their supply of Bush-approved GM cow, sheep and pig meat.

18 October 2006

Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink

I was chatting to Steven this morning. Steven is a gardener and he helps me maintain the tiny little piece of planet for which I am responsible, and which I - and many other wonderful creatures and plants - call home.

Steven wakes up at about 3 in the morning every day, in order to fill up drums of water for the day. His water supply is free and goverment sponsored, but it also erratic. Steven and his family of 8 people rely on water which is switched on at 4am every day and switched off again by 5am.

So he has water for one hour a day and nothing more.

He says the water is literally switched quickly on and off daily. However, when it rains and the water has soaked the ground, then Steven and his community have running water all day. But now, before the summer rains, when it's needed most, there's a shortage!

Steven has a vegetable garden and some fruit trees in order to feed his family. He works 3 days a week in various rich people's gardens, for a tiny salary, but he needs to supplement that by growing his own food. But without sufficient water, a basic human requirement for survival, he can't even grow some food to put on the table.


Britons Must Drink Recycled Sewage
UK: October 18, 2006

LONDON - Britain needs to use more recycled effluent as drinking water if it is to deal with a long-term shortage crisis, a report said on Tuesday. The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) said using treated sewage was one radical suggestion that needed to be pursued if the country was deal with the growing problem.

Read the full article on REUTERS' PlaneArk service ...

This is my child Karoo-bean in a beautiful dam on a farm in Mpumalanga. One wonders if our children 7 generations from now will have access to any clean water whatsoever?

12 October 2006

Environmental Impact Assessments - a sham?

I walk my dogs in one of the last remaining stretches of open veld in Tshwane. I have met a tortoise, dassies, rabbits, clumps of 50-year old boophones and groves of wild seringas and lekkerbreek trees.

Last week, driving past the land, I glimpsed a notice on the fence. I stopped to read it. It was not in English, but I took down the contact details of and requested a copy in English. It was duly emailed to me. My worst fears were realised. The Department of Foreign Affairs is to build their HQ on the site - I can just imagine what it will look like - 15 hectares of concrete, roads and parking lots. Oh there will probably be some clumps of man made gardens too. The company is conducting an EIA to "register interested and affected parties ... solicit comments and concerns".

F U C K !!!! How are tortoises, rabbits and seringas supposed to register their concerns. They are about to lose their homes ... and their lives. But they have no access to telephones, emails and faxes. So they will just DIE.

I will attend the public meeting on 25 October and try and find some way of protesting this development, but an aquaintance who works at DFA says it's a foregone conclusion that the new DFA HQ will be built on that site. So much for soliciting comments huh?

And what are the chances of all the current dogwalkers being allowed to continue walking our dogs there? ZERO, because of course, there will be security fences and gates and access cards and no more dogs allowed unless they are working for the security company that "protects" the place.

By the way Boophones and Wild Seringas are notoriously difficult, if not impossible to cultivate, so I hope the "developers" .... ugh I hate that word .... remember to save these species and build around them!

05 October 2006

Water woes in Harare


HARARE - Shouts of "water, water, water," stir frenetic activity in the affluent suburb of Marlborough in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare.

Ntando Ndlovu, 10, runs down the street spreading the news that the water, unavailable for three weeks, has been reconnected and within minutes men, women and children spill out of their houses and start filling buckets, pots and even cups with water from the standpipes in the street, while baths fill up inside the houses to store the increasingly rare liquid.

The spillover creates a novelty for Ntando and his friends, who splash and dance in the puddles, but their playtime is cut short as the water splutters and runs dry a few minutes later, and the summer heat returns.

Ntando's mother, Sarah Ndlovu, is grateful. "I am happy that I managed to fill a few containers with water, and I hope this time the water will only be gone for a few days instead of more than 21 days," she told IRIN.

Although Harare's reservoirs are near capacity, the water scarcity is being blamed on Zimbabwe's foreign currency shortage, which makes it difficult for the government to afford water treatment chemicals and the necessary spare parts to keep an ageing reticulation system going.

Clean drinking water has joined the growing list of shortages in Zimbabwe, which also includes fuel and food.

Until recently the treatment and distribution of water was the responsibility of the Harare municipality, but in 2003 residents voted for executive mayor Elias Mudzuri, of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

Mudzuri was fired in September 2003 after allegations of mismanagement, and replaced by an unelected commission staffed by ZANU-PF government sympathisers and technocrats. The authority to distribute water was handed to the Zimbabwe National Water Authority, but the city fathers have failed to deliver a consistent and adequate water supply to residents.

Precious Shumba, spokesperson for the Combined Harare Residents Association, told IRIN that some Harare suburbs have gone without water for nearly three months and, when it was available, the quality had deteriorated substantially compared to previously.

Shumba blamed the water shortages on the commission, which was appointed and not democratically elected and therefore had no obligation to deliver decent municipal services. "The hardest hit areas are the affluent northern suburbs, like Borrowdale, Chisipite and Highlands, although some high-density suburbs, like Mbare, Mabvuku and Rugare, have also been hard-hit by water cuts."

John Mupani, an enterprising resident, has identified an opportunity for easy money in an economy with an annual inflation rate of 1,200 percent - the world's highest - and unemployment above 70 percent.

"Although I am employed elsewhere in the CBD [central business district], I have employed four people who drive my water bowser to the rich suburbs, where they sell water to residents of that area. I have given them powers to be flexible with their pricing and I cannot complain about the profit which I am making."

Selling water is not restricted to the richer suburbs; households in poorer neighbourhoods are also targeted by the water entrepreneurs, but the price is lower. Formal business has also cashed in. TAISEK Engineering, a borehole company, says it is doing a "roaring business".

"After experiencing these horrible water cuts, Harare residents, especially those who live in houses built on large pieces of land, have begun seeking our services," a company official told IRIN. "The amount of business that we are doing is so amazing because there has been a huge surge in demand for boreholes."

Residents in poorer neighbourhoods are sinking shallow open wells, which have become a feature of "high-density suburbs". An influx of people since May last year, when the government launched Operation Murambatsvina - a sudden campaign to purge informal settlements, which left more than 700,000 people homeless or without a livelihood - has increased pressure on already stretched resources.

Untreated water sources have been blamed for a recent outbreak of scabies in poor neighbourhoods. Several Harare schools have stopped children affected by scabies from attending school and there have been reports of diarrhoea outbreaks, attributed to contaminated water supplies.

The minister responsible for Water Resources, Munacho Mutezo, has admitted that the state agency was failing to supply water, saying: "We are asking consumers to bear with us while we are battling to provide enough water for everybody."


04 October 2006

Our hatred knows no bounds

The hatred towards and alienation from nature, so desired by the human race has no limits. Two symbolic acts against ancient and revered trees demonstrate this perfectly. See below ...

Police Move to Protect "Mystical Tree" from Attacks

INDONESIA: October 4, 2006

JAKARTA - Indonesian police have slapped a cordon around a huge landmark Banyan tree in the capital after members of a Muslim youth group attacked it to prove it had no special mystical powers.

The governor of Jakarta filed a complaint with police after youths hacked and damaged the 100-year-old banyan, on a traffic island in the capital, in a bid to dispel rumours the tree harboured special powers.
"The city government tried hard not to cut the tree when we built a new bus lane. It is more than 100 years old and it is important for the environment," said Susi Marsitawati of Jakarta's park agency.

"But later rumours spread that the government was unable to fell the tree because it has supernatural powers and is sacred," the official said, adding that Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso had filed a complaint with police.

Indonesia is predominantly Muslim, but a strong mystical vein runs through the culture. Whatever their faith, many display a deeply spiritual attitude and follow animist beliefs and various superstitions.

Jeje Zainudin, chairman of the United Islam Youth, said the group had carried out the attack to counter superstitions surrounding the tree.

"It is not a matter of chopping down the tree but this is to counter a popular belief such as if (we) touch it, (we) will get sick or your cleaver will break."


and the second one:

Australia's iconic 'Tree of Knowledge' poisoned
Sydney, Australia
03 October 2006 11:28

Australia's heritage-listed "Tree of Knowledge", a 200-year-old ghost gum known as the birthplace of the centre-left Labour Party, has died after being poisoned, a party official said on Tuesday.

The tree, which stands opposite a hotel in the centre of the small town of Barcaldine in the north-eastern state of Queensland, was the meeting place for sheep shearers during a landmark strike in 1891.

When the strike was crushed with the arrest and jailing of the ringleaders, unionists formed Labour Electoral Leagues, which later became the Labour Party.

The tree was included in the government's National Heritage List in December 2005.

Local Labour Party branch president Pat Ogden said a tree doctor had now "signed the death certificate" for the tree after an unknown poisoner struck with a powerful herbicide.

"In April we noticed leaves falling off it. Now there's no leaves on it and the limbs are up there in the air just like a ghost," he said.

The ailing tree had attracted an influx of tourists who wanted to see the icon before it died, he said.

"It's an icon of the town, it's an icon of Australia, really, for the workers."

Ogden said he hoped that instead of uprooting the tree the council would trim it back and create a permanent monument to the party.

Since its formation, the Labour Party has held power alternately with the conservative Liberal Party of current Prime Minister John Howard.

While Howard has been in power nationally for 10 years, Labour governments control all of the country's six states. -- AFP

21 September 2006

Web 2.0

pretty corporate websites
meaningless business spin
time to make the web work
for our common dreams

there are no common people
only common wars

time to fight the system
here we go
into the jaws of the machine

11 September 2006

100 years ago we kept a man in the Bronx Zoo

Are things any different today when we keep some of the world's most magnifent animals in zoos?

One hundred years ago, on September 8th, 1906, the Bronx Zoo in New York unveiled a new exhibit that would attract thousands of visitors to come and marvel. Inside a cage, in the monkey house, was a man. His name was Ota Benga. He was 22 years old, a member of the Batwa people, pygmies who lived in what was then the Belgian Congo.

Hear the story of Ota Benga on the web:
Radio Diaries is a not-for-profit organization.

I wonder what our children 100 years from now will say about how we treat animals in zoos, animal parks and factory farms?

05 September 2006

Building communities, build community

"The last time the Zambian government built a secondary school was in 1979. So the community of Kachembe took charge. The women fetched sand from the river 2km away and carried it, bucket by bucket, on their heads to the site they had chosen for their school. The men dug the foundations and made the bricks. When it was done, the small room became the place where their children study Tonga, maths, religion, science, social studies and home economics." Caroline Hooper-Box reports.

I just loved this article, because it is about people coming together to build their community. The government is not doing anything, so they did it themselves. If we all (all 6 billion inhabitants of Earth) did this, we would no longer need the governments, we wouldn't have to pay taxes and we wouldn't have to work for their corporations. Viva people of Kachembe, viva!

04 September 2006

Africa - the depleted continent

Apparently satellites are revealing what we already know in our souls and hearts, that environmental degradation is running rife across the beloved continent.

This is in line with the way of the world

24 August 2006

Primate researcher throws in the towel

The constant calls, the people frightening his children, and the demonstrations in front of his home apparently became a little too much. Dario Ringach, an associate neurobiology professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, decided this month to give up his research on primates because of pressure put on him, his neighborhood, and his family by the UCLA Primate Freedom Project, which seeks to stop research that harms animals. Read the article here ...

Visit the UCLA Primate Freedom Project website.

I'll bet the macaques are relieved.

16 August 2006

Scientists urge deep-sea cure for climate change

"BOSTON - Climate change could be slowed by burying greenhouse gases blamed for global warming deep below the ocean floor under thick, cold sediment that would trap it for thousands of years, said a team of Harvard-led scientists." Reuters

BRILLIANT. These harvard scientists are absolute geniuses! I never cease to be amazed at the level of stupidity among this bunch of idiots. We humans cause all these problems and then believe we can bury them for our great grandchildren seven generations from now to deal with. I can just imagine what our children's, children will say about our infinitely destructive generation.

08 August 2006

Is this the legacy of our generation?

More tigers live in captivity in the United States than in the wild in Asia and Russia. Many live in unregulated, substandard sanctuaries, roadside zoos, backyards and even city apartments. Few owners can meet the housing and welfare needs of these animals, putting not only the animals at risk, but neighbors as well.

It is estimated that about 60 tigers are currently being held in captive breeding facilities in South Africa.

Interpol estimates the worldwide illegal trade in wildlife products is worth US$6 to 10 billion dollars annually. Experts say this is second only to the illegal drug trade and is contributing to the current mass extinction crisis.

Stats and image from IFAW:

03 August 2006

Making a living without killing

I'm trying to find ways to pay the rent without directly (or indirectly) destroying the environment. Is it possible to do so when you live in the city?

I mean I could design websites right? Minimal impact, just a little blip on the climate change meter as my computer does after all use electricity from a spewing coal-fired power station. But that would be it. Oh and obviously the clients too would have to have earth-friendly businesses ... and I would have to attend meetings on bicycle?

Then I've been thinking of becoming an animal communication consultant (once I'm more practiced obviously). That would be really low impact. Telepathy is really a zero carbon emission activity. Hey maybe I would even be able to offset my web design carbon emissions. If the G8 can do it, so can I!

Finally, I'm thinking dog training. Just feel I have an instinct for it. When I'm around dogs and people, for example when walking my dogs in the park, I am tuned into two conversations. The words being spoken by people, but also the things that the dogs are saying. There's so much miscommunication between dogs and their owners. And that's true of some of the most loving and committed owners too. I think we're just hardwired differently.

But we do need to make an effort to listen to the animals. If we don't, we will end up destroying their and our world. That goes for plants, trees, rivers and mountains too.

25 July 2006

Animals were used in 2.9 million medical experiments in Britain in 2005

Reuters reports that:
Animals were used in 2.9 million medical experiments in Britain in 2005, an increase of 1.4 percent from the previous year, the government said on Monday. Most of the animals involved were mice, rats and other rodents. Less than half of one percent of the procedures included dogs, cats, horses or non-human primates, according to the figures released by the Home Office.

This repulsive civilisation of ours need to be dismantled one brick at a time if we have to.

21 July 2006

Making science palatable

With their use of complex terminology and potential benefit to human health, scientists always seem to manage to make vivisection sound "okay".

Here's a snippet from Nature (oh the irony in that name), where the scientists (names removed to protect me) describe their "research protocol" when implanting human tissue into a mouse. Note: they don't even bother to call it a mouse experiment, they refer to a mouse model, taking away its individuality, making it an object to be studied, instead of a fellow subject to be respected.

Quote starts:

"Nature Protocols 1, - 206 - 214 (2006)
Subject Category:
Cell and tissue culture | Utilizing model organisms
Reconstruction of human mammary tissues in a mouse model

a model system that more accurately recapitulates both normal and neoplastic breast epithelial development in rodents is central to studying human breast carcinogenesis. However, the inability of human breast epithelial cells to colonize mouse mammary fat pads is problematic. Considering that the human breast is a more fibrous tissue than is the adipose-rich stroma of the murine mammary gland, our group sought to bypass the effects of the rodent microenvironment through incorporation of human stromal fibroblasts. We have been successful in reproducibly recreating functionally normal breast tissues from reduction mammoplasty tissues, in what we term the human-in-mouse (HIM) model. Here we describe our relatively simple and inexpensive techniques for generating this orthotopic xenograft model. Whether the model is to be applied for understanding normal human breast development or tumorigenesis, investigators with minimal animal surgery skills, basic cell culture techniques and access to human breast tissue will be able to generate humanized mouse glands within 3 months. Clearing the mouse of its endogenous epithelium with subsequent stromal humanization takes 1 month. The subsequent implantation of co-mixed human epithelial cells and stromal cells occurs 2 weeks after humanization, so investigators should expect to observe the desired outgrowths 2 months afterward. As a whole, this model system has the potential to improve the understanding of crosstalk between tissue stroma and the epithelium as well as factors involved in breast stem cell biology tumor initiation and progression.

quote ends

I mean just listen to them. Using all these silly words they've created for their exclusive domain and their excuse is the potential promise of treating breast cancer.

Take one line for example:
"Here we describe our relatively simple and inexpensive techniques for generating this orthotopic xenograft model."

What they're actually saying could be:
Hey everyone it's really easy to create a human-mouse chimera.

Here's another:
"[I]nvestigators with minimal animal surgery skills, basic cell culture techniques and access to human breast tissue will be able to generate humanized mouse glands within 3 months."

What they could be saying is:
Hey, any old fool can slice into a mouse without killing it. You only need basic animal surgery skills (ie lower level required than human surgery skills), some human breast tissue and voila, you too can create these chimeras in just 3 months.

Sounds like one of those tv marketing ads ... "and that's not all, now you too can create a chimera in your garage".

god forgive us for what we are doing to the animals ...

14 July 2006

If you don't embrace the bat - it will come to you

My totem animal popped up again today. I was still sleepy when I got to work this morning and after opening my office, went to the toilets for some soap and paper towel to wipe my desk. As I opened the door to the women's toilet I saw a small, dark - what I thought was a leaf - lying under the door. This little thing had flattened itself and crawled in under the door for protection.

Initially I thought it was a mouse, but when I scooped it up, it spread the most beautiful wings I have ever seen, right across the length of my lower arm. Flimsy, diaphanous, but very real and belonging to someone special.

The little bat was cold to the touch and seemed to be hyperventilating. I immediately took her to my office and switched on the heater. She fell quiet in her box and I settled down to work.

About an hour later I was stirred by a loud flapping sound. I opened a slit in the box and she turned her head towards the opening and tried to escape. Her breathing had normalised and she asked me to please release her. I took her upstairs to the balcony. Had one last look, opened the box and watched in anticipation.

She took a moment and then launched herself. She flew east, she turned west, she orientated herself and flew back over me in a southerly direction. Purposefully, like she knew exactly where she was going.

I was in heaven.

12 July 2006

The Africa XI soccer team

World Cup winners France (or as they are known on this continent: the Africa XI) have 17 players in the French squad from ethnic minorities. That outnumbers the 11 black members of Parliament (out of 577).

Soccer players are becoming influential personalities the world over. I would like to see players in Europe, who are from ethnic minorities, and those from developing countries who play for UEFA clubs, speaking out and leading an onfield revolution. I'd like to see them do more to make the elite, the business owners and the rich people of Europe recognise the inequalities of the world.

I salute Lilian Thuram who has already made some progress in this regard.

11 July 2006

Stats on the illegal skin trade

Fiona Mcleod is a tireless campaigner for nature. It's difficult to get people to read about the destruction of the planet. After all, you're competing with Wayne Rooney's fiance's latest outfit, TomKat and Branjolina pregnancies and the war on terrorism.

Despite the competition, Fiona manages to get published.

Her latest piece contains some gripping stats about the trade in leopard and cheetah skins, many of which are being sold to the wealthy in the northern suburbs of Joburg. The article is headlined ingeniuosly with Virgin's Richard Branson at the launch of his South African credit card, wearing a, supposedly, fake skin draped across his chest.

Here are some of those stats:
  • "A ceremonial outfit made of leopard skin, which would include an apron, headdress and armbands, fetches about R6 000."
  • "[L]eopard skins at the market are brought in from Botswana and Zimbabwe by couriers on buses. They cost between R3 500 and R4 500 after being treated."
  • "Cheetah skins, which mostly come from Namibia, cost R5 500 when treated."
Mcleod concludes with a bizarre story about a trapped 16-month old leopard cub who was being offered for a canned hunt. The captors wanted R16000 for the hunt. Thank earth the cub was released and the captors (slave owners) arrested.

06 July 2006

African Grey Parrots "Under Threat From Pet Trade"

Reuters reports that African Greys are being put at risk by the wild bird trade.

"The African grey, one of the most popular avian pets in the world, is declining in most of the 23 countries in which it is found and may soon become a threatened species, the Royal Society for Protection of Birds (RSPB) said." Read more ...

There are calls for banning the wild bird trade in Europe and I would support that, but one wonders of the trade won't just go underground with people selling wild caught birds as domestically bred birds?

Surely the better option would be a campaign to help society to start seeing the keeping of birds, with clipped wings, in tiny cages as undesirable and cruel!

Change attitudes and you change the world.

05 July 2006

Batho Pele - the long term implications

I loved the term, when the SA government coined Batho Pele as its vision for a service orientated public service. But the term has taken on a new ominous meaning for me.

Batho Pele Mission: "The creation of a people-centred and a people-driven public service that is characterised by equity, quality, timeousness and a strong code of ethics."

That's all well and good, but what does that mean for the environment? Trees, animals, rivers and mountains all come second to people. If you are cold, you can chop down that 100-year-old tree to make a fire.

But the long term implications of such actions are that 7 generations from now, there will be no trees left to chop down. The rivers will be polluted and the wild animals extinct.

I am sick of people being the only species recognised as subjects. I think it's time for a new slogan: Lefatshe Pele - Earth First!

04 July 2006

Tinner the eternal Winner

Today's tribute goes to my dear friend Tinner the Winner. She was my close companion and best friend for much of her 80-odd doggy years.

Tint was always there for me and never let me down. She was my teacher. But unlike human teachers who often feel you fail them, no matter what I did, in Tinner's eyes I always passed with flying colours! She was wise, strong, quiet, loving, undemanding, beautiful and determined and she loooooved cheese.

Princess, I love you so much. I miss you. Thank you for everything. I know that you have heard the owl call your name and I know that you too are now one of those wise old owls yourself and that you will watch over us the Wilde-Area gang!

TinTin of Wingshot
24 October 1993 - 3 July 2006

23 June 2006

New look for this blog

It was time to revamp. Here's the new look. I really want a 3 column design, so that I could start enhancing the site with useful links to the right. Watch this space.

I'm thinking some links to social justice website, environmental groups, prison support groups etc.

Can't wait!

Wage slave has been given the afternoon off and can't believe it. I'm out of here ...

21 June 2006

Chickens should live for years and years

At a vegetarian dinner table on Sunday evening, a friend was telling me about Tok the chicken who shared her childhood with her. Tok lived for 9 years.

Tok and her siblings were incubated by a mother duck, along with her duckling eggs. When they had all hatched out, mother duck took her youngsters out to swim and her imprinted chickens waddled along too. Needless to say they all drowned ... except Tok, who was rescued and raised by Tania and her sister.

They communicated with Tok, they dressed her up and took her along to visit friends and family. Tok lived a very fulfilled life.

Today, broilers, as we call chickens "raised" for meat, live an average of 6 to 9 weeks in cramped quarters with about 20 000 to 50 000 others.

We subject 46 billion such chickens to this torture, every year. Read more ...

What are we doing to ourselves?

15 June 2006

42 500 die

The Mail and Guardian reports today, that 42 500 people have died since the US invaded Iraq.


I have nothing more to say today.

(Image to the right, of peace protestors, appeared in the M&G's email newsletter today.)

30 May 2006

Tributes to two giants

Today I heard an interview with a woman, who I will strive to mimic from this day forward. Nicole Barlow has taken on petrochemical giant Sasol, property developers Petro Props and the lazy, lumbering, bureacratic fossil that we know as local government in South Africa.

These blik$#@s are building a petrol station on a wetland. Nicole is taking them on and they have made her life hell ever since. Read more about her ongoing struggle here.

Go Nicole, GO!

My other tribute, believe it or not, goes to a member of the mainstream media. Radio presenter Jenny Crwys-Williams dares to interview people like Nicole Barlow, who, let's face it, is dangerous to the powers that be. Read more about Jenny here.

One of my favourite authors Derrick Jensen wrote about how it's okay for richer, more powerful people to threaten and coerce poor and disempowered people. They get away with it, because they have money for lawyers and money to bribe people with. But woe betide those lower on the social scale who dare to take on the rich and powerful. They will be hung, drawn and quartered.

"Civilization is based on a clearly defined and widely accepted yet often unarticulated hierarchy. Violence done by those lower on the hierarchy to those higher is unthinkable, and when it does occur is regarded with shock, horror, and the fetishization of the victims. Violence done by those higher on the hierarchy to those lower is nearly always transparent, that is, unnoticed. When it is noticed, it is fully rationalized." - Derrick Jensen

Unless they're Nicole Barlow of course. Or Rachel Carson. Or Jane Goodall. Or Irene van Lippe-Biesterfeld.

29 May 2006

Bite the hand that feeds you

It's the only way to learn to fend for yourself.

“Don't try to drive the homeless into places we find suitable. Help them survive in places they find suitable.”
Daniel Quinn

16 May 2006

For a change ... a tribute

A couple of days ago was the 25th anniversary of Bobby Sands' death in prison, due to a hunger strike. So I have decided to pay tribute to him today.

I remember the distasteful jokes about Bobby Sands being told in the hallways of my snobbish "upperclass" school at the time of his death. I was as a very green, young highschool student in 1981, and at the time, I did not appreaciate what an amazing revolutionary, poet, humanbeing he was.

Bobby Sands joined the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to fight for Irish independence in 1972. He was sent to jail in 1976, elected to Parliament from prison in 1981, and died in a hunger strike a month later. 5 May 2006 was the 25th anniversary of Bobby Sands' death. Read about Sands' life here, and read pages of his prison diary here.

15 May 2006

who's law is it anyway

I adore this definition by the MOVE community. It says so much in simple terms. And who could argue with this?

NATURAL LAW: "We believe in Natural Law, the government of self. Man-made laws are not really laws, because they don't apply equally to everyone and they contain exceptions and loopholes. Man-made laws are constantly being amended or repealed. Natural Law stays the same and always has. Man's laws require police, sheriffs, armies, and courts to enforce them, and lawyers to explain them. True law is self explanatory and self enforcing. In the undisturbed jungles, oceans, and deserts of the world, there are no courtrooms or jails. The animals and plants don't need them. No living being has to consult a law book to be able to know if they have to cough, sneeze, or urinate. Natural Law says that when you see something getting too close to your eye, you will blink, whether you are a German Shepherd or a Supreme Court Justice."
John Africa's MOVE organisation

11 May 2006

Bat shaman

It was while attending an interspecies communication workshop recently that I realised I might have shaman potential ...

The animal totem card I draw at the start of the day was an upside down bat: symbol of the suppressed shaman, a shaman experiencing a breached birth. If I do not follow my true path it may be that I get stuck in the birth canal and die.

Photo credit: © Mark Levesley, courtesy Centre for Bioscience ImageBank.

Bat upright: rebirth, secrets and initiation
Bat upside down: breached birth, resisting initiation

Whether this would be a metaphorical death or a physical one is immaterial to me. I know I have to follow the path I have glimpsed. I have to commune with nature in order to live. I can no longer deny my true being.

With this in mind I have been doggedly pursuing the options open to me. I am seeking community with others who believe in helping protect the wilderness at any cost.

Watch this space and see how things evolve ...

ps I have had some noisy and bold visits from a troop of nagapies who are making my life a joy to behold. A sure sign that things are moving forward in my life's work ... and it has NOTHING to do with my day job!

08 May 2006

Destroying the children

Policemen, teachers and aid workers abuse Liberian children

Monday, May 8, 2006

MONROVIA, Liberia, May 8 -- Sexual exploitation of young girls is rife in refugee camps and communities in war-ravaged Liberia and threatens the country's recovery after nearly two decades of conflict, according to a report released Monday.

Save the Children UK said an alarming number of girls as young as 8 were having sex with older men, including policemen, teachers, aid workers and U.N. peacekeepers, in exchange for money, food or favors such as a ride in a car or watching a film.

18 April 2006

Capturing Big Animals is Big Business in South Africa

"Game capture is serious business in South Africa ... Animals are bred for a range of purposes: for conservation, for hunting, and for sale to other game reserves. They are captured on both state-owned and private land. Sales from game auctions in the country last year amounted to 93.5 million rand (US$15.30 million) compared with about 101.3 million rand in 2004, according to one estimate ..... "

The only way modern man measures the value of something is in rands and cents. I can't believe these ... stupid, stupid, stupid human beings who think animals are stock to be traded on markets, objects to be used and abused as we wish, to boost the god of economy, to bring in dirty money.

"Listen, I was told to teach you, to open doors for you. I am teaching you. Listen from far away, you are one with every living thing that exists in this world. You are one with the birds and the animals. You are one with the fish in the Zambezi River. You are one with the stars. You are one with the mountains. Animals are you and you are the animals." When we arrived back at her home, she taught me a song that I still remember to this day. The song went, "I see an animal, I see an animal, the animal is me and I am the animal." - Babayena, the healer of the Bantwana people of the Zambezi

"We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of the land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy - and when he has conquered it, he moves on. He leaves his fathers' graves, and his children’s birthright is forgotten." - Chief Seattle

"Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten."
- Cree Indian Prophecy

"When the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses all tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with the scent of many men, and the view of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires, where is the thicket? Where is the eagle? Gone." - Chief Seattle

13 April 2006

Therianthropes - the plantanimals

Slime moulds are neither plants nor animals and yet they are both.

I have been thinking a lot lately about interspecies communication after attending a workshop on this exciting theme. Naturally occuring humananimal hybrids (ie where the souls of both parties mutually agree on an equal basis to join forces for a period of time) have been prominent. But permanent, interspecies hybrids where two very different species merge are less obvious. There are the chimeras of ancient myth. But slime moulds live here and now in our very presence and cannot be discounted by the god of science.

The bushmen of course are the masters of therianthropy, respectfully assuming the characteristics and physical stance of an animal. They may use this technique in order to hunt an animal or they may simply be asking the animal's permission to move through its territory.

So when and how did certain members of the slime family approach certain members of the mould family and say "hey let's merge"?

Check out the pics on the link, they are amazing.

11 April 2006

And the hunter becomes the hunted

Some posts don't require many words. Just look at this picture. It churns my stomach. But the tables are turning. The species-traitors will soon join forces with the animals and others to stop this disrespectful slaughter.

I did a google image search for the word "Rooikat". I was looking for a picture of a Rooikat or Caracal to remind myself of how beautiful these animals are. Sadly my first 20 results were images of an army tank designed under the apartheid government. The remaining three, one of which is pictured on this page were:
  • a stuffed Rooikat being mocked by some drunk fool
  • the limp body of a murdered Rooikat as above, and
  • another dead Rooikat body piled on top of the body of a buck and enveloped by a stupid, smiling couple wearing silly cammo outfits.

Imagine if my young child was doing an ecology project for school and did this search. What kind of world are we living in?

07 April 2006

Life expectancy for Zim women lowest in the world

Life expectancy for women in Zimbabwe has plummeted to just 34 years, by far the lowest in the world according to data released on Friday by the World Health Organisation. Women in the Southern African nation and in nearby Swaziland are the only ones in the world who are not expected to live into their forties.

17 February 2006

Twenty babies dumped in Harare's sewers weekly

According to Zimbabwe's Herald newspaper, some 20 new-born babies and foetuses are dumped in Harare's sewer system every week, leading to the clogging of the sewerage network.

Some of the babies would have been flushed down toilets, and others thrown into sewer manholes. This came to light "when council employees attended to sewer blockages or when the bodies surfaced at the city's sewerage and water treatment plants".

So what can we conclude?

I'll tell you ... hell is now officially on earth. It cannot get worse than this. The destruction of the environment, plants and animals is bad enough, but now we (the human race) are treating our own kind like disposable waste, excrement to be flushed down the toilet.

Arise eco-anarchists, arise. Let's bring down this culture of death. Let's save the little that is left to be saved.

03 February 2006

Man keeps lions in suburban yard

I'm so sick and tired of idiots who use and abuse animals for their own sick pleasure. This idiot is keeping two lion cubs in his backyard in Tzaneen.

These poor babies were taken from their mother (herself a prisoner), before they were properly weened and then transported halfway across the country and kept in his yard. I can just picture him boasting to neighbours how he "the BIG MAN" is keeping two "wild lions" in his garden. UGH!

According to conservation officials, the lions came from the "Free" State Province which is renowned for canned lion hunting. This is a process whereby lions are hand-reared in small enclosures on remote "Free" State farms and then shot by rich first world MEN, once they are big enough. After being photographed with their executioners, the lions' heads are chopped off, stuffed and hung on the walls of bars, where rich white men get drunk and joke about genocide.

The time has come to stop the murder, rape and pillaging of women, children, animals and nature. I have had enough and I am ready to do whatever is takes to stop such men!

25 January 2006

A visit from the free

I had a magical visit yesterday from the world of the free. It was halfanhour beyonddusk. The air was crisp and the eveningquiet.

I was reflecting on the day's events when everything around me ceased to exist, except for one minute little person. She was the quietest, most enchanting creature I have met in ages. So light on her feet. She was a nagapie. I haven't seen one in years.

I see free birds, beetles, moths and frogs a lot. But seeing a wild "socalledprimate" on my garage roof, 8 km from the citycentre thrilled me to the toes!

The recent rains brought a flood of flying ants to our stoep light last night ... and she just couldn't resist. She obviously came down from the koppie behindourhouse to feast on them. She was as bold as she was small. She moved at the speedoflight, flicking her tail with delight as she gulped down several flyingants while scampering across our garageroof. Then, all too soon for my liking, she decided the neighbours, me, my dogs and cats were too close for comfort. So she leapt ... all 10cm of her ... straight up into the air (about 3metres). She launched herself from the roof onto the telephone wire above. She made her way up the wire, into the large old white stinkwood behind our house and disappeared into the night.

I felt exhilirated and ran inside to tell Helen. I hadn't breathed throughout her visit. It was a moment I will cherish forever.

When I returned outside, my neighbours, who had obviously spotted her as well, were dazzling their 2-million-watt-safari-fucking-torch into the tree to try and spot her again. I could have shot them with my slingshot. Why couldn't they just absorb the moment, instead of trying to find where she went to? They wanted to shine the light on her, like a lab rat.

That's when the sadness set in. I realised that the koppie on which I live is isolated and shrinking. Properties in Tshwane, with a view are highly sought after and being developed fast. I realised that her island habitat will not last forever. And she had come to remind me of that. And now I have to help her protect our home (hers and mine) from further development.

* The picture above was taken by the wonderful people at Wildcare Animal Rehabilitation Centre, some 20 km north of my home.

** Sadly the human genome project also wants to shine their dazzling torch and disect her every gene ... have a look at their bushbaby gene sequencing info:

23 January 2006

Returning to the wild

I have never thought of myself as a prisoner before. But recently the theme keeps coming up in my life. But something someone said in conversation today, sparked off the truth in me.

I was born inside a prison camp. I went to school, where I was told at age 6 to stand in line, keep quite, not to question authority. I was told when to eat, when to take a break. I was told what to think. THAT'S PRISON!

As a result my thought-patterns are shaped by prison mentality. And as the person went on to say, "those formative years were supposed to have been spent exploring ecological and living reality". So how, in the supposed prime of my life, do I undo the damage? I know I should get out into the wild. I need to spend more time in nature, listening to the land. But I know I have to pay my mortgage at the end of the month. So what now?